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Reliable Sources

Series/Special. Examining media coverage and how it can shape the news. New. (CC)

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Us 10, Romney 8, Washington 7, Howie 6, Obama 5, Stuart Stevens 5, Bill Plante 4, Robert Gibbs 3, Gibbs 3, David Axelrod 3, Pillsbury Crescents 3, Iran 3, America 3, Rachel Maddow 2, Ken Taylor 2, Julie Mason 2, Crescent 2, Unitedhealthcare 2, Obama Administration 2, Adt 2,
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  CNN    Reliable Sources    Series/Special. Examining media coverage  
   and how it can shape the news. New. (CC)  

    February 24, 2013
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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"b" victor emmanuel iii, "c" garibaldi i or "d" umberto i. this week's book will cost you $2, but it is worth much more. david leonard's ebook. "here's the deal" is the best guide to america's budget problems you're likely to find. brief, highly intelligent and genuinely fair and balanced. every voter should read it and many others, as well. go to cnn.com/fareed where we have a link. now, for the last look. what do you do after you're deposed as president of one of the world's most terrorist infested fail states? well, if you're ali abdullah of yemen, first you come to the u.s. to recover from old bombing injuries and then back home in yemen, you announce the opening of a museum all about yourself.
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yes, come one, come all to sunny sana to see priceless museum pieces as large portraits, weapons given while in office and the suit he was wearing during the aforementioned bombing and shrapnel that was recovered from his body. wow. the curator says the museum is almost ready to open, as soon as they get the lights and air conditioning sorted out. i suppose this is progress of a kind, most dictators would probably keep all the stuff for themselves. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was "d" king umborto ii was the last king of italy and his reign was rather brief. ended in june of '46 after the republic was formed. thanks to all of you for being part of our program this week. i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources."
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the latest clash between president obama and the press corps comes not only budget cuts or immigration or guns but over golf. an outing with tiger woods sparks complaints that the president is stiffing the white house press, even as he talks to local tv types and hangs out on google. >> this is not about a trivial issue like a golf game. we don't really care about the president's score. we care about access to the president of the united states, whether as a democrat or a republican. >> does the press have a case or does this amount to whining? for years now we've heard david axelrod and robert gibbs defend their boss. >> well, of course, the pamphlet reflects the ideas that the president is advanced throughout this campaign about where we need to go as a country building on the progress that we made. >> i think you're going to see an exceptionally strong debate performance tonight from the president. i think you'll see somebody who will be strong and passionate and energetic. >> now, they're resurfacing as
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msnbc commentators. is the network becoming an obama administration in exile. journalists were just plain unfair to mitt romney, is that true? was it based on ideology? >> there's every reason to believe that the majority of journalists tend to lean democratic. and we know people are people. that affects it. >> romney's chief strategist stewart stevens in an exclusive interview. plus, as we head into tonight's oscars, a look at the fierce lobbying campaign and is "zero dark thirty" being swift voted out of contention? i'm howard kurtz and this is "reliable sources." there was frustration. there was outrage. there was a virtual revolt by the press corps when president o
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obama hit the links with one of the most famous and controversial golfers. >> the one we didn't get to see. >> he made some headlines by golfing with tiger woods, but he got headlines because the press was kept away. it was secret. >> here's a zen question. if president obama played a round of golf with tiger woods this weekend and the white house press corps was not permitted to cover it, did it really happen? >> do you care about who was allowed to cover it? >> this sparked a debate whether he has gone further than previous presidents to keep at a di distance. even as he makes the round on some of these softer media venues. joining us now bill plante and david zurawik television critic for "baltimore sun" and julie mason and former white house correspondent for politico. bill plante, you have been
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patrolling that building since ronald reagan. does the press look self-involved and whiny, as i said earlier complaining about this tiger incident? >> we have gotten used to being a whiny lap dogs. i have gotten used to it. this is about access to the president. and access to the president has been cut and pushed and curtailed over every administration i've covered. here's the nub of it, howie, this administration has the tools to reach people on their own. they don't need us as much. and to the extent that they're able to do that, they're undercutting the first amendment, which guarantees a free press through many voices. if they put out their own material, it's state-run media. >> yes. >> bill makes an interesting point. and part of the reason that the white house press corps, no picture was put out. we never saw the two of them together. maybe obama administration wanted it that way given tiger's previous scandalous past.
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>> they didn't want a picture of the president with tiger and the white house was incredibly squirrelly about this trip and this golf game and bill makes a good point. this isn't about golf. we push for access all the time behind the scenes. regular meetings with jay carney and more opportunities to ask questions. when this president gives more access to the view than "wall street journal" something has gone amiss. >> the white house press corps is losing the battle of public opinion. a lot of mockery about this. >> look, howie, that's what the obama administration is good at. winning the public opinion battle and that's where they're playing this game. i absolutely agree. look, this is our job, this is our job to push for it and it's the job of critics like myself to reinforce that push, not back off and say, oh, my readers don't care or they love obama, whatever. no, this is a major issue. and, by the way, that picture of the reporters at the gate of that gated country club, you know, it was a golf digest
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reporter, right, who was in there who tweeted as the washington press corps was kept away. a golf digest reporter -- >> i think he got the information. turn back to bill, your organization is spending major dollars to follow the president around the world and you don't get near him and not doing reports with the beat reporters and they don't need us. meaning they have the digital tools to bypass. >> the president was originally to make sure anything happened, they were there to tell the story. or if anything was to be transmitted, we were able to do it. >> now? >> eisenhower had a heart attack at a golf vacation in denver. assassination attempt on president kennedy, how did we find out? a wire service reporter picked up the phone ask called. two assassination attempts on president ford. that's what the press pool is for. not about golf games. >> most of the time, nothing happens and then the press is left cooling its collective
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heels. >> sure. >> talk about digital tools here. president obama recently did what is called a google hang out which means that multiple people can come online and ask him questions. vice president biden did a facebook town hall. presidents use facebook, as well. josh earnest, the white house spokesperson told me that is not a substitute for talking to the white house press corps, but sometimes it can look that way. >> president obama is not the first one, president bush called it the filter. they would find ways to go around the press. >> bill clinton went on "larry king" and mtv and we complained that he was -- >> the problem is that rachel maddow and those who say this is no big deal, they are enabling the next guy to be even worse. >> did rachel maddow get a private audience with the president? >> exactly right. >> that's outrageous that statement from her, howie. i think that is outrageous. >> no one, yeah, we do care a rats, but we care ten rats about
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that. >> she was putting it in the form of a question. should the public care whether or not journalists have access to some of these more routine events? bill, you're making the point, it's not just a golf game he could fall and break his leg or whatever. but at the same time, i think to a lot of folks, let's be honest here, looks like self-interested pleading on the part of the white house press corps. >> this is not as much about us as it is about what the public gets to know and who tells them. the white house can tell them, but do you always trust the white house or do you want a somewhat disinterested outside view? >> howie, you know, this week we had a great example of the sequesteration and the white house bringing in out of town reporters. >> these are the automatic budget cuts. >> they brought in like eight different local reporters from stations around the country and the white house will say, what's wrong with that? he's accessible. these are journalists. they're not national correspondents -- >> howie, i actually watched one of them. this was a cbs owned and
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operated station. this is not some dinky little station. opens with the top anchor out on the white house lawn and he says, more than 12,000 people in maryland lose their jobs, education could lose 55 million this year, if this happens. meanwhile, the president and his senior staff are working around the clock warning congress about how bad this could be. then you cut to president obama who said you people in maryland don't have to lose your jobs. if congress would just do its job. no, no context. none of the great history of, hey, who owns sequesteration? who came up with this idea in the first place? none of that. it was like an obama commercial. it was like a campaign commercial, i swear. the reporter did no context, no background and just took the white house line and fed it to baltimore viewers. >> that's what the white house is counting on. circumventing the white house press corps. >> you can speak to this, bill, you know, local reporters don't ask good questions or don't have
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the factual knowledge to follow up. it is true that those of you at 1600 pennsylvania avenue every day, you know what the president said a year ago, two years ago, you can follow up. i fear we're denigrating journalists who work in washington. >> he did. >> no, i am glad they have a chance to talk to the president. they are going to ask questions that are centered on their local issues. that's their job. the president will take advantage of that to make his point straight away. >> it shouldn't be one or the other. it should be both. >> after the white house got hammered coming out of the tiger woods incident, what happened is that the president held an off the record meeting, i don't know whether you were there. always this question, i can understand why you want to see a president with his guard down. what benefit do readers and viewers get out of these off the record meetings? >> you can record your own, you can't quote the president and
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say you were there. but the understanding around the white house is x, y and z. >> you can't tell me if you were there? >> i'm not going to say. >> on friday the president took a question in the oval over golf. yes, he took a question from a reporter in the oval office and no one can remember the last time he did that. there was a direct benefit from this dust up. >> in this dust up, president obama also this week went on three radio shows hosted by african-americans. one was al sharpton. do you think he's seeking out friendly forums and makes it look like he's out there but not really getting grilled? >> yes, absolutely. and then the white house says, look at all these interviews we're doing. they're not sitting down with "new york times" or "washington post" or people who would cover him all the time. >> newspapers are getting stiffed. >> newspapers are getting stiffed. the people with the expertise and the background are not being allowed to talk to him. but, look, if you're an 11:00
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anchor in a local market, you don't know as much about the administration than bill plante does. >> i asked this question on my twitter feed. should the white house press complain they put up and some of the responses. white house press got hammered. who cares about that, i would like the press to tell it truth about the sequester. since the white house press is not doing their job, they have no room to complain. i'll let you have a brief response, bill plante. >> it's not about the golf game. but you are fighting for what you see is an important principle that you say is being eroded with every successful administration. >> to the extent that the white house can broadcast its own news in various media and we don't have the access to the same news, the public is being ill served. the first amendment guarantees a multiplicity of voices. >> bill plante, julie mason, thanks for stopping by. when we come back, david
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two of president obama's fiercest and more visible defenders are becoming television and robert gibbs who was the president's press secretary have joined the liberal lineup on msnbc where they'll be talking about their old boss. >> look, the republicans have
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spent the better part of the two weeks trying to blame the president for his idea of the sequester to begin with. >> david axelrod -- >> i agree with you. >> great to have you. hope this is just the beginning of a beautiful relationship and with only nine days to go -- >> anything wrong with this beautiful relationship? axle rod and gibbs are smart guys. >> they are smart guys. there is an advantage, howie, i think, to having people who are in the room at key moments at this high level on your cable channel or network. that's important. but, you know, i saw axlerod with andrea mitchell this piece and it was really interesting how hard he was pushing the president's line. he actually interrupted her. she was going on the next question and he said, wait, i just want to say this, andrea. there is a belief among some republicans in congress that maybe the sequester is a good thing. maybe this is a good way of shrinking government in a dramatic way and then he said, that's a dangerous idea, of
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course. and then she said, no doubt. well, that's not a discussion about politics. that is propaganda. republicans in congress are dangerous. and then mitchell says, no doubt, that really troubled me about how these guys are working the white house line on a cable channel. >> i contacted axlerod and gibbs because i believe in reporting. robert gibbs i don't see it being a cheerleader for the president or a spokesman for the administration's point of view. i will be honest with my opinions and if i believe the white house made a mistake y will say so. david axelrod, my role is not that of a surrogate but an analyst or commentator. >> this is more, axelrod was more than sympathetic to the president. i think, howie, he was pushing that line. to give them a forum to say this
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is the fault of the republicans. that notion of saying republicans have dangerous ideas. that's bad. >> msnbc has us commentators, a lot of former democratic operatives and al sharpton and, so, is this of a different magnitude in your view because they were so recently in obama's employee. >> because such loyalists to obama and have such a long history with him. i think it is a difference. i think, you know, you could say, of course, we know what msnbc is about and what they're up to. but don't forget, this is nbc news. that's the banner they fly under and to bring two loyalists like this on and in their first outing, at least in the case of axelrod to have them so decid decidedly carrying the president's message into this forum. that's the problem. >> what is the difference than cnn hiring ari fleischer and
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paul begala when they got out of the clinton administration or thereafter. is it different because most of the voices, with some exception like michael steele are on one side of the spectrum. >> just having one side is bad. i was never crazy about cnn having as many former operatives in those roles. and there's fewer of them now and i'm kind of glad to see that. i don't want those voices. look, they're never, you get to that level of government, howie, you know you're totally never out of government. you know, if you're not lobbying, you're connected. >> talking to all your old friends. fox news has been famously had a lot of potential presidential candidates last time and now herman cain who left the presidential race is the latest commentary. let me play a brief clip of cain talking to bill o'reilly. >> he is so popular because 51% of the voters were misled enough to vote for him.
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>> oh, come on. >> o'reilly says, come on. >> this is why i like o'reilly sometimes for saying, oh, come on. herman cain came on there. i saw that. he had like one phrase. like a candidate would have. it was, president obama is not a leader. he is a politician. i think he said it three times. and i thought, this is your analyst? >> i have 20 seconds. what about the fact that he left the race amid charges of sexual harassment or affair which he denies. >> big problem because there were a lot of allegations there that he never really addressed except to issue a kind of blanket denial. i have real problems and i wrote about that. i have real problems with cain. >> thanks for joining us this morning. coming up, an exclusive interview with the man who ran mitt romney's campaign. did the republican presidential candidate get more negative media coverage? stuart stevens has many to say.
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we spent two years on this program questioning the strained relationship between mitt romney's campaign and the press and whether journalists were unfairly painting the republican candidate as an awkward, out of touch. >> i like being able to fire
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people. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. >> brought us binders full of women. >> was there a tilt towards obama that continues to this day? i spoke earlier with stuart stevens the media man who was the campaign's top strategist. stuart stevens, welcome. do you believe today that much of the media is in the tank for barack obama? >> oh, it's -- it's not a yes or a no question. in the tank, i would say no. so, yes or no question. i would say no. >> too sympathetic to the president? how would you put it? >> i think after the election you'll have a lot tougher questions that will be asked because you're out of an election environment. i think you're seeing that this past weekend with this whole golf outing. i think they will be more critical now. >> you're saying the press should be finally more critical about the fact that president obama went golfing with tiger
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woods? >> the degree that there is not a choice between him and a republican candidate makes it easier for them to be tougher on the president. that's natural. >> that leads me obviously to say when there was a choice, you think that made it more conducive for the media to be easier on the president. why is that? >> listen, i don't think, i've never been a media basher. i spend a lot of my life writing, if you look at the people covering our race been writing for a long time and written probably a lot more than they have. so, i'm very sympathetic to their situation. >> but you are, also, at the same time, an estute observer and cruteaker of the modern day press and you just opened the door for me to ask you whether or not when it is a choice between democrat and republican, you believe it's implied that you believe that most journalists are more sympathetic to the democratic candidate. >> well, look, let's start at
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what we know. there's every reason to believe that a majority of journalists tend to lean democratic. we know people are people. that affects it. now, that's not to say that they can't be good journalists and that they can't be fair. but i think that when you're in these arguments and a lot of campaigns are about arguments. that there is a pre -- how would you put it? >> an inherent disposition. >> disposition to believe the fundamental basis of their argument. of the democratic argument versus republican argument. and i think that that doesn't mean that you can't win an argument. i think it means that it makes it more difficult to carry the day in that argument. >> when mitt romney -- >> but this is sort of, i think, very old territory that we've
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been through -- >> but there's a chance for me and our viewers to hear from you, chief strategist of the campaign and let me turn it around. it was a close election for most of that time. when mitt romney lost, the next day, the next hour, it seemed, a lot of conservative pundits came out and said romney was a terrible candidate. now, obviously, gone the other way, they would have said you were a genius. did it bother you to get from your own tribe? >> i think in a campaign, the proper way to deal with criticism is to try to listen to it. every day in campaigns you make a lot of mistakes. and if you look at mitt romney's approach, after every one of our debates, all he wanted to hear about was what he did wrong and how he could improve. that's a good model for us. when conservatives and people supporting republican party criticized us, we tried to listen and to see what we could learn from it and to go from there. >> yet, you often to me and other reporters and sometimes in
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your writing would dismiss what you call the green room culture. you felt a beltway press corps mentality that was out of touch with what was happening on the campaign trail. >> yeah. >> why is that? >> because it's true. one of the realities is that mitt romney very much was not a d.c.-based candidate. he, by virtue of the fact, he was not a congressman or a senator. he had not been someone who spent a lot of time coming up to the shows and did not go through that. >> he didn't have relationships. >> he didn't have relationships and a lot of this is people being people. he didn't spend time getting to know these reporters and how it affected them. i think that there is a desire for a certain vetting process to happen in the green room that governor romney hadn't really submitted himself to. he submitted himself to voters. two, i think that the economic realities of this moment are very important here. and i think it's more important
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than the ideological bias here. seven out of ten of the most wealthy counties in america now are in the d.c. area. new york city is new york city. at a time when we're in the greatest near economic depression, since the depression. and i think that the experience that most of the journalists have today in this area is very different than the experience that most americans have. >> i would be willing to concede that and you're certainly right that romney to many in the press corps what was an outsider. but during the two years he ran for president, he didn't really make much of a serious effort to develop those relationships and didn't do a lot of interviews starting with print reporters and your campaign, i don't blame you for this, but your campaign's press shop was notorious among journalists for being difficult to get reached, to get to comment on things. looking back, was that a mistake? it's hard to circumvent this giant machine called the main
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stream media. >> i think we did a lot more interviews than the president did. we were a lot -- >> at the local level. >> we were, oh, we did a lot of national press. and we did a lot more interviews than and were more accessible than as our culture than the president. listen -- >> but president was not terribly accessible either. but why, stuart, among many in my profession that there was a strained difficult relationship between your campaign -- >> you would have to ask the reporters that felt that way and not me. i didn't feel that way with reporters. let me just say this, in the primary we were running against candidates who were, in some cases, completely living off the press, in the sense of they would go anywhere and do anything for publicity. the debates were a big part of that. so, to have that level of
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accessibility versus the level where we were trying to carry a larger message and to talk about big problems is not a really, we had different goals here. and, also, campaigns are about messaged discipline. i think there is a natural, i think positive tug of war between a campaign and the press. and that -- >> press wants a news story every day. in your case, romney's message was about the economy. >> actually, it was a time when they wanted a news story every day. now, they need a news story every two hours. and that's a great pressure on these reporters. i'm very sympathetic to. i think that the idea that there's a filing deadline and when we came up. they have tremendous amount of pressure on them now. i mean, as you know better than i. and it's to get this, to get that.
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and it's, it creates, i think, an environment that is very conducive to the creation of news, the invention of news that there is none, so therefore we will invent it. >> in that environment, since you bring that up, do you think that twitter and the need to have something to say and something provocative to say or something snarky to say every 20 seconds has hurt campaign coverage? do you think it hurt the romney campaign? >> i think we used it to our advantage in many cases. you take this hillary rosen little flap. >> she criticized ann romney for career choices. we were able to use twitter to our advantage. >> you don't tweet yourself, although i know you follow twitter closely. >> i don't tweet. however, i've been a somewhat obsessive follower of twitter. had a twitter account, you know, since the very beginning of -- since the service went up. i think it's fascinating. the way i would follow debates
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is just through twitter. that's all i would look at is how people were tweeting during the debates. >> is that a good? >> i think it is terrific because it's as close as you can get to talking to reporters while a debate is going on. while an event is going on. think about twitter that is, it's a great thing and it's a very dangerous thing as we've seen a lot and part of why i chose not to tweet, but to leave it to our communication shop. it's very stream of consciousness. as we know, once it's out there, it's out there. >> you can't reel it back. in a moment, more of my interview with stuart stevens and he talks about the famous romney 47% video. it's chevy truck month! the silverado is also recognized for the lowest cost of ownership. hey, what are you gonna do with it? end table. oh. [ male announcer ] it's chevy truck month. get 0% financi for 60 months, eeplus trade up to get $1,750 total allowance
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more now of my conversation with former romney campaign chief, stuart stevens. let's talk about the stories that blew up. 47% of americans are victims and feel entitled to government benefits whether it was saying him binders full of women which i saw on twitter during one of the presidential debates and clinton eastwood's empty chair routine at the convention which you defended but later people said was not a great moment for
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your campaign. do you think the media pumped up those stories that was unfair to your guy? >> i think news is whatever people decide news is. i don't think that there is a legitimacy litmus test that you can put on it. news is what people are interested in. the question that news organizations have to ask themselves, do ask themselves every day, what kind of news do we want to validate? where do we want to be in this vast stream of media? what do we want to cover? i think that's a question that every news organization is struggling with. and there is tremendous pressure to feed the meda immediate verse long term. these are all things that organizations struggle with more. financial pressures, like never before. >> absolutely. >> the idea you can send reporters out and they can send two weeks in ohio and talk to reporters and get out of that. that's very difficult now. >> you got a fair amount of flack as a chief strategist in
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the campaign. there were times when the critics and media and else where said you are screwing this up and in the final weeks your role was reduced or less visible. was that hard to deal with? >> no, listen, not in the least. when you're -- >> you have your suit of armor. you don't have any feelings of being criticized? >> i've said this before, i'll say it again. it is good that people are upset that the romney campaign lost. it's good that people are angry. i played a lot of sports team and the worst thing is to be in the losing locker room and people aren't upset. this is a moment we should be going through. it's good. and if we, look, i was seeing a strategist for this campaign. we don't have to look for whose loss any further than me. i take full responsibility. let's pause at that and move on. let's not have a period we go
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back and say try to explain this person. just blame me, that's fine, and let's move on. let's go on and win races and learn from what we did. >> now, a lot of the media scrutiny of the republican debate within the party of what is the moderate to tea party, they're still blame against romney for poor showing among hispanic voters and self-deportation and that's affecting the immigration debate. do you think that's fair? >> no, not at all. in all of these states, governor romney did better. we have problems when we talk about hispanic voters. we have problem with hispanic voters going into this primary, which are very serious problems for the republican party. and there's not going to be any quick fix to that. immigration isn't a quick fix. having hispanic candidates isn't a quick fix. it has to be a series of steps to rebuild a bond of trust with
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hispanic voters. the primary, i don't think, was positive for that. but there's no day to indicate that the primary was particularly toxic for it. >> let me move on to this question. if there was, in your view, a distorted picture of mitt romney of, you know, the constanant critique that he was awkward and had trouble connecting with ordinary voters. to some extent, was that his fault? was that your fault? was that the campaign fault or a press creation? >> i think, listen, every campaign since the beginning of time believes that their candidate's not portrayed correctly. i think this is a universal truth in all of politics and you have to accept that and sort of not get hung up on it. campaigning for president is a series of sort of cubookie play set pieces that you go through. it is difficult to convey the totality of someone in those
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moments. now, one of the -- >> you're being retrained here and not blaming the press. i'm sure at the time you felt like you weren't getting a fair break from the press, particularly on some of these controversies. >> i'm not going to get baited in into press fashion here because i really do think that there -- >> this is the world we live in. >> tremendous pressure on the press now to do something that they're not being equipped to-do to the level that they would like to do, for large, economic forces. that said, i also do believe, as i said, that if you look at who these reporters end up supporting, they sort of come more from a world that is more of a democratic world. and you can ask a lot of questions, why aren't more republicans from iowa or dallas going into journalism? we would be better served if they were.
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>> how often do you see somebody in the political defeat say, just blame me? more of the interview at cnn.com/reliablesources. up next, a lobbying campaign surrounding the oscars. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec-d®. powerful relief of nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms -- all in one pill. zyrtec-d®. at the pharmacy counter. ♪
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there are always lobbying campaigns to influence the oscars. the ceremony, of course, airing tonight, but "washington post" reports that there is also a negative campaign to block "zero dark thirty" where torture scenes renew the debate about the search for osama bin laden. a renegade cia operative who frees six american hostages from iran back in 1980 sparking a complaint from the ambassador who secretly harbored them and said the movie unfairly minimized his role. what should we expect? ann hornaday from "the washington post." you question whether "zero dark thirty" is being swift voted. debate of torture in that movie, but are you suggesting in this proxy campaign against the movie that other studios might be buying it? >> that would be pure
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speculation and i think it's events. there was a spontaneous disen n disengenen with criticism of the movie that came out when it started being screened in washington especially when journalists started watching it and weighed in. >> gave it a lot of attention. >> you're exactly right. so, that was, you know, i don't think there was anything conspiratorial about that. i think there was a convenient confluence of timing when the movie was released here and senator feinstein and mccain and leaven fired off their letter to sony criticizing the depiction of torture and the timing of that event with the release of their 6,000 page report, convenient. >> so washington. i mean, it's an important, legitimate debate of torture but talking about whether catherine bigalow should win an award. as i mentioned at the top, the former canadian ambassador ken taylor who did help save those six american hostages who had
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escaped from the main group of hostages from the embassy in '79, he is saying canada played a much bigger role than this ben affleck movie depicts and jimmy carter, president at the time, agrees with him. should we care? >> well, that's a really good question. i think that's almost forevery individual to decide. i think people have different thresholds for voracity in terms of based on a true story trope. but i think ambassador taylor had raised his criticisms earlier when the film was being shown on the festival's circuit then ben affleck changed the tag to the movie to reflect the fact canada did play a big role. >> affleck is defending the movie and did meet with ken taylor in the making of the movie. >> it's funny it's coming up now. i think social media has a role to play in all of this. when people have a thought or blip it gets amplified and multiplied against social media. things have a way of taking on
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lives of their own. >> i want to show you a little bit of the trailer for "argo." >> if they stay here they will be taken probably not alive. ♪ dream on >> we're responsible for these people. ♪ dream on >> i'm responsible. ♪ dream on ♪ dream on >> part of what we see there is a plane getting ready to take off with those six american hostages and the revolutionary guards of iran are in this truck firing their guns. it's completely made up. it never happened. when i see based on a true story i expect a little embellished dialog and dram mization, but when you have fictional scenes doesn't this undercut this based an true story. >> i think what these movies do is allow us to impart meaning on events if you will. >> bother you as a critic? >> i think first and foremost these are movies and we're
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sophisticated enough as viewers to know these are all dramatizations. >> same thing applies to "lincoln" no footage from that time but questions about the voracity there, about the bill he was lobbying for was actually supported by the delegation. to the average movie goer and critic, you think the theme is more important than the details. >> when we look at what these stories mean, does the story of "argo" mean at one point, you know, that the cia embarked on this completely whacky, zany, but ultimately effective plan to release these house guests from iran? yes. in "lincoln," does the messy fractious system sometimes work with this great leader at the helm? question yes. " zero dark thirty" did the military involve some contradiction in terms of our ideals, yes. those meanings are preserved. >> you're looking at the big picture as a reporter.
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thanks for stopping by on this oscar sunday. the reporter who fueled a bogus story about chuck hagel. david brooks has second thoughts about his column and a fox commentator apologizes for an outrageous remark. media monitor is straight ahead. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! but when i cook up some beef, ketchup, relish and cheese, cover it with crescent dough and pow! cheeseburger crescent casserole. double awesome. pillsbury crescents. let the making begin.
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time now for the media monitor. our weekly look at the hits and errors in the news business. one of the bogus charges against chuck hagel, president obama's pentagon nominee, is that he had taken money from a group called friends of hamas. now new york daily news reported dan says he was the source of the rumor when he sarcastically made the suggestion and later saw a headline on the site breitbart.com, secret hagel donor. white house spokesman ducks questions on friends of hamas. that attributed to senate sources. breitbart's hero defended his piece saying he got it from three separate sources. that doesn't change an inconvenient fact about his story, no group called friends of hamas. the whole thing is a charade. david brooks missed the mark with his column on friday as he admits. in ann-